John Zorn
John Cage
Education
Outwork
J-S Bach
Deconstruction










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Outwork

'At some level, one just cannot say with words what music says without them' (Feld,  p.93).

'We must begin wherever we are and the thought of the trace ... has already taught us that it is impossible to justify a point of departure absolutely. Wherever we are; in a text where we already believe ourselves to be' (Of Grammatology, p.162).

[1] This site can be the beginning of a journey through the world of deconstruction in music. Of course, a deconstruction of music. But also a strategy of deconstruction through music, through music performance. I am not primarily interested in deconstruction as applied to the writing about music, or to a direct application of philosophical concepts to musical practices. What I have in mind is a deconstruction of music by music(ians). To make the issue more tangible,  practical and relevant questions are those such as: What can this 'musical deconstruction' mean? How can forms of deconstruction be traced in (present-day) musical practice? And how would such musical deconstructions sound? Additionally, I will seek out another application of deconstruction as it pertains to music education: how can deconstruction contribute to re-thinking of music education? And is it possible to teach music in a deconstructive way?
By asking these questions, I strive to think and write 'from within the music'. But this keeps us outside of music at the same time. A paradox. Making contact with music through language, speech and writing defers this contact at the same time. Or are speaking and writing about music a precondition for contact? I will return to this. Opening the space of deconstruction in music, addressing the space in which we can contemplate deconstruction in music implies a change in the way we reflect nowadays upon what can be said about and can be heard in music. It is, however, a modest change, and not radically or totally different in the sense that certain current terms will still be required in order to discuss music. Nevertheless, these texts differ from what has already been written on deconstruction and music.

[2] Outwork. (In a way it is detached from the 'real' work, which follows this preliminary text.) Intro. (This outwork, in fact, leads you into, introduces you to the 'real' work.) An 'overture'. (An opening or disclosure of a space where deconstruction in music can be encountered.) I first want to submit three theses that can somewhat serve as preliminary remarks that have a bearing on the rest of the site. Summarized with no particular order, they are as follows: The first thesis, entitled Music Is a Text1, states that music can be regarded as a text and that each (musical) text is made up of different (already existing) texts. The second thesis, Deconstruction In Music2, states that deconstruction has always already been part of the musical praxis. In other words, deconstruction in music is not by definition a contemporary phenomenon. The third thesis, Music, Deconstruction, and Ethics3, explains why I think it is important to be attentive to the relationship between deconstruction and music. This importance transcends the esthetical and refers, to a great extent, to the ethical.

[3] I am not the first, nor the only to write on the connection between deconstruction and music. In a separate section, Of New Musicology4, I define my position in relation to others who have previously written on deconstruction and music. Justification5 is more expressly directed towards the man who, as one of the first, shows us the deconstructive working of texts, Jacques Derrida. The question as to why he has not yet written on music is briefly addressed in this section.

[4] Outwork consists of more than just the five hyperlinked texts listed above as well as this text, this outwork of the outwork. The above-named texts, the (un)covered texts, will lead you to others. They are not fully committed yet, they remain hidden for now. In a way, they are still absent, although they are already present.